I wonder if there are some readable articles online on the historical evolution of modern gender roles. Last night I stumbled onto the following passage in Erec et Enide, written in approximately 1170 AD:
"A knight whom I esteem highly gave [a horse] to me, sire...He is a very courteous knight and the handsomest man I ever saw..." The Count replies: "I suppose and presume he is not more handsome than I am." "Upon my word, sire," the sergeant says, "you are very handsome and a gentle man. There is not a knight in this country, a native of this land whom you do not excel in favour. But I dare maintain concerning this one that he is fairer than you...."